ARTe VallARTa Museo

The Pencil and the Thread  - 50 Years of collaborations Drawings, Paintings, & Tapestries


Yael Lurie & Jean Pierre Larochette

Start Date: November 18, 2022 
End Date: Feburary 26, 2023
Event Category: Exhibition
Venue Name: ARTe VallARTa Museo

The art of painting has a long history associated with the humble but rich craft of weaving. For centuries tapestries were an outstanding form of communication; as true mobile murals, they were the preferred media tool of European royalty and the church.

With the advent of new art movements in the beginnings of the last century, painters and weavers discovered in tapestry a powerful form of personal expression. In this intimate format it found its way among the modern arts into museums and private collections. In Mexico great artists such as Francisco Toledo, Eleanora Carrington and Carlos Merida, among others, designed for it. The tapestry town of Larochette’s ancestors, Aubusson, became a world center where artists such as Alexander Calder, Marc Chagall, Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse have had their work translated into the splendor of the thread.

Our collaborations started in the 1960s with the enthusiasm of youth and a passionate desire to work together. To follow our family traditions, Yael, daughter of a painter, and Jean Pierre of a tapestry weaver, this was the most natural and direct way to live according to our innermost aspirations of integrating creativity with daily sustenance. 

Along a road that didn’t lack in its share of challenges, the exchange took the spirit of ritual offerings. As a painter and a weaver seeking a common goal, we inspired and supported each other, timidly sometimes, wishfully others, but always amazed that life gave us the rare opportunity of working together in that which we loved most.

Technically this type of collaboration has unavoidable restrictions. A brush stroke on a canvas that is completed in the gesture of an instant, for example, translated to tapestry may take days, if not weeks. Traditional tapestry is woven from side to side, not from the bottom up, and from the revers, which results in the mirror image of the design. The front of the piece cannot be seen until the final cutting-off the loom, and by then there are no possible corrections. After all these years the predominant feeling when starting a new work has not changed that much. It is true that experience helps, but the unfolding is always a mystery. Yet, what stays by the end of the journey, past the straggles and uncertainties, is the joy of making and the beauty of sharing the creative process. It is to Mexico that we owe much of these blessings, the country that has formed us; and much to California, our other home, where we could pursue our craft.

We are grateful to ARTe VallARTa Museo for having invited us to celebrate with this exhibition of 50 years of working together. Coincidentally – could it be any better? – it is a double celebration: it was in 1972 when we first had the fortune of visiting two remarkable places that we have called home ever since, Bahia de Banderas, and north of the border, the San Francisco Bay.